Safe relationships are a fundamental human need. The quality and safety of our intimate relationships have vast immediate and long-term physical, emotional, social, economic, and other impacts. Yet in California and across the country, violence in intimate relationships (referred to here as domestic violence, or DV) is pervasive, creating harm among adults, children, youth, and entire communities. Significant inequities in rates of DV exist by race, sex, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors. These inequities are related to broader structural inequities, i.e., the inequitable distribution of power, opportunity, and resources. Once considered a private matter, DV is now increasingly recognized as a public problem with deep interconnections with a range of health and safety issues.
Through the Sectors Acting for Equity Project (SAFE project), Prevention Institute (PI) is convening leaders in California to envision and design innovative, multisector, health equity strategies to prevent DV. This project builds on and seeks to support the leadership and efforts of the DV field and allied work. PI is engaging community leaders, advocates working to prevent DV and other forms of violence, and innovators from sectors including healthcare, behavioral health, public health, housing, and community development. The project is supported by the Blue Shield of California Foundation and builds off of previous work supported by the foundation that led to the development of the paper, A Health Equity and Multisector Approach to Preventing Domestic Violence: Toward Community Environments that Support Safe Relationships.
A multisector health equity approach addresses the underlying contributors to DV and inequities in DV (e.g., harmful norms, weak community responses, housing insecurity, and economic insecurity) and promotes community environments that support safe and equitable relationships and communities. PI is conducting outreach and training and convening leaders who can increase interest in and understanding of a multisector health equity approach to DV prevention. Collectively we are identifying opportunities to infuse this approach into the planning and implementation activities of multiple sectors at the local and state levels. As a result of the project there will be:
- An increase in interest in addressing DV through multisector health equity strategies among leaders and organizations from participating sectors;
- An increase in understanding of how to implement multisector health equity strategies to prevent DV among leaders and organizations from participating sectors; and,
- An increase in understanding of the opportunities to infuse a multisector health equity approach to DV prevention into the planning and implementation activities of organizations from participating sectors.